AllAdvantage was great for free money as a teenager. It only took a few minutes to slap together a VB application to move the mouse a few pixels every minute. I made a few hundred dollars from them while I slept.
That was more of a general statement than a comment specifically on reddit's position.
I can make millions of dollars selling condom wrappers, but just because I have made millions of dollars does not mean that I have done something important. I may catch quite a bit of hate for this, but a large portion of HN's content is on things that make money, but are not truly important.
I think the mantra from the startup community is often:
1. Make money doing whatever it takes. eg come up with some crappy website, sell it to google, then shut it down.
2. The money problem is solved!
3. Spend money solving world hunger, diseases, philanthropy.
Without cash flow, how far can the site go? Someone needs to pay the bandwidth/server bill. Not to mention it costs time to run a site. If you are working full-time at another job (because you aren't bringing any money in), you won't have any time to work on it.
Reddit succeeded largely because the company that bought them is making money elsewhere.